Sometimes, a list of the best reverse osmosis water filter system reviews in 2016 can definitely be of help, especially when you simply want to make sure your tap water is pure, clean, and safe to drink!
In today’s world, the regular user can get a bit confused and overwhelmed by the abundance of information and products available and the best way to sort things out is by learning from other users’ experiences. This is why today we are going to discuss some of the best tap water filter systems that use reverse osmosis as their basic method.
APEC - Top Tier - Built in USA - Ultra Safe, Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ROES-50)
The ROES-50, Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis features a revolutionary system that manages to remove almost 99% of the contaminants usually found in tap water (chlorine, arsenic, lead, bacteria and viruses and others). It is equipped with premium long-lasting filters and can also be used to treat well water. The 3 carbon filters and the .0001 micron membrane help in removing hormones and pharmaceutical drugs from the water, a feature that is not supported by many other systems.
The ROES-50, Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis isn’t noisy and is among one of the most popular systems on the market due to its Quick Connect fittings that allow for a quick and easy setup. The package comes with a lead-free faucet and the tubing is guaranteed to provide your family with pure water, removing the risk of deposits inside the pipes. The size is convenient as the entire system is made to fit a regular kitchen cabinet.
This type of water filter system uses a method that purifies the water in 5 stages, thus managing to remove up to 99% of the contaminants. The Reverse Osmosis technology and the high quality filters make the 5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System PLUS Extra Full Set to be one of the most popular ones on the market. Users appreciate the system for the fact that it can be installed easily and the filters are easy to change.
The package is delivered with an extra set of filters and the tech support is very friendly and attentive with the client’s needs. Also, you will find clear instructions in the package that will be of great help during installation and maintenance process. The 5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System PLUS Extra Full Set is created to be user friendly and this is one of the reasons so many users enjoy its services in their homes.
Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis Under Counter Water Filtration System, White
The Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis Under Counter promotes an innovative design with long-lasting filters that are extremely simple to change, and a faster flow rate that allows the water to flow at higher pressure in comparison with other systems. The filters must be changed every 2000 gallons and you won’t have to use any sorts of tools in the process.
This reverse osmosis water filtration system uses 7 stages to make sure the resulted water is pure and safe to drink by the entire family. Through these stages, the system manages to remove about 98% of the contaminants present in tap and well water and due to a special process where minerals (calcium and magnesium) are added, the resulted water tastes amazing.
The Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis Under Counter is simple to install and maintain and it manages to eliminate problems encountered in traditional filtration systems.
APEC Water - US Made - Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter - Portable & Installation-Free (RO-CTOP)
With an original, compact and light design that doesn’t require any installation, the Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter - Portable & Installation, RO-CTOP can be hooked up to any faucet in a matter of minutes! This device is equipped with the 90 GPD portable system that comes with high quality and reliable filters to support the 4 steps of filtration it implements, allowing for about 97% of the solids to be removed from the water. The resulted water is fresh and pure, allowing you to feel refreshed regardless of your location.
The Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter - Portable & Installation, RO-CTOP system is extremely versatile and it can be used when you go on a trip with the family in the motor home, in your home or apartment, or you can take it with you during your travels as it only weights 7 pounds. It’s recommended for people who want a water filter system, but don’t want to make any pipe adjustments.
iSpring RCC7 - Built in USA, WQA Certified Reverse Osmosis 5-Stage 75GPD Under-Sink Water Filter with Brushed Nickel EU Faucet & See-through Housing
Manufactured in USA, the WQA GOLD SEAL - 5 Stages 75GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System featuring Brushed Nickel EU Faucet ($45 value) and Clear See-through 1st Stage features a 5 stage process with the latest reverse osmosis technologies for the best water quality! The system manages to remove up to 99% of the contaminants present in the water (drugs and fertilizer included) and all its parts are made out of FDA approved materials.
The system is quite popular amongst users due to the fact that it is a cost-effective solution for water safety in your home. The WQA GOLD SEAL - 5 Stages 75GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System featuring Brushed Nickel EU Faucet ($45 value) and Clear See-through 1st Stage can also be installed in rural areas for well water, but you have to monitor the filters carefully if the water quality in the area is low.
What Is Reverse Osmosis Water Filter?
The Reverse Osmosis process, also called the RO, is a water purification method that manages to remove solids such as salts and other big particles using a semipermeable membrane. The tap water is pushed through this membrane with pressure and, during this process, the big particles are filtered away from the resulted water that is more pure. This method is used in both industrial and individual water filtration systems as it proved to be cost-effective and efficient in removing pathogens like bacteria and viruses besides the other type of contaminants already mentioned.
Today’s water filter systems that implement RO promote various stages of water filtering and different types of filters, thus allowing the resulted solution to be up to 99% contaminants-free. This is actually one of the main features you should consider when purchasing a water filter system: the type of filters and the number of stages the water goes through in order to be cleaned.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis is not just a technology used by the water filter under your sink; it actually has many applications in the industry and is extremely helpful in getting drinking water out of salt waters. The principle is quite simple and it only requires a semipermeable membrane that will filter off the contaminants (salt, bacteria, viruses, other big particles) and pass (almost) pure water on the other side. In order for this to work, the water must be pressurized when passing through the membrane.
The membrane is usually comprised of three layers: a polyester base, a polysulfone layer that comes on top of the base, and a polyamide layer that is only a few microns thick on top of the first two. The polyamide layer is the one that actually acts as a barrier against various pollutants while the other two act as support. The water is forced through the filters that contain the membrane and, while it flows through, it leaves behind most of the contaminants.
The result water’s purity level can be influenced by a few factors like:
- The water pressure – in order to have a great filtration, water must go through the membrane with a certain pressure level. The membrane is built to withhold high pressure but it won’t perform so well in conditions of low pressure;
- The temperature;
- The type of solids present in the water – if the filtration capacity of the membrane has been reached, you must change the filter;
- Each filter is equipped with a certain type of membrane and this also influences the end result.
What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
Through reverse osmosis, solid particles like salts are removed from the drinking water. Also, you must know that, with the contaminant particles, RO also removes most minerals as they are usually bigger than the water molecule.
As a summary, RO removes the following types of particles:
- Ions and metals like arsenic, selenium, silver, chloride, zinc, iron, lead, and more;
- Big particles like asbestos;
- Radium and Uranium;
- Big bacteria and viruses;
- Some microorganisms.
While the method is very efficient in clearing the water from most pollutants, you should also know that it will not remove harmful contaminants like dissolved gases, bacteria and viruses with a mass smaller than the water molecule’s.
Systems that implement a series of filters are going to deliver water of higher quality due to the fact that the water is going to be pushed through successive membranes, thus lowering the risk of filter degradation.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
Concerns regarding fluoride were raised ever since scientists proved that, in high concentrations, it may damage the brain or it may weaken the bone structure and lead to fractures in older people. Also, children exposed to high concentration of fluoride may develop bad teeth. The fluoride used to be added in water in order to strengthen the teeth and improve the general oral health in population, but according to new regulations and discoveries, it’s best to avoid constant exposure.
Fluoride is actually a type of salt, resulted from the combination of the fluorine element with various minerals presented in the environment. So, are all public waters contaminated with fluoride components? The water may be contaminated when passing through certain mineral deposits in the ground or during the filtration process in the processing plant. Also, there are communities that simply add fluoride into water for the health benefits they believe it brings.
The safe levels of fluoride in drinking water were established in 1974 when the Congress approved the Safe Drinking Water Act. The maximum level of contaminants that a person can be exposed to, during his/her lifetime, when it comes to fluoride, is 4.0 mg per liter. Anything that goes over this number may be dangerous for the health of the population. Also, the recommended level is actually 2.0 mg per liter, but these limits are non-enforceable.
Even today, in some areas, fluoride is intentionally added in the drinking water in order to help population fight cavities and other oral problems. As long as the maximum level of concentration established by the Congress is maintained, the fluoride won’t have any effects over the general health.
Since fluoride is actually a type of salt and its mass is usually bigger than the mass of the water molecule, the membrane installed in the filters manages to catch around 93% of the particles. Of course, if the filter is of lower quality, the quantity of fluoride caught during the reverse osmosis process will be smaller. This is one of the most important reasons why it’s always best to invest in high quality filters.
Reverse Osmosis Pros and Cons
As you surely concluded by now, reverse osmosis is a very efficient method for water purification in both the industrial and individual environment. Still, every amazing method has its problems, so let’s make a short comparison of pros and cons and see which one scores more points.
- The possibility to obtain drinking water in areas where most waters are salty or heavily contaminated with solids;
- Most filters will deliver 97% pure drinking water, free of most contaminants. This water is usually safe to drink by both adults and children;
- The resulted water usually tastes great and it will be crystal clear. This is due to the fact that the water is almost completely pure and it doesn’t have any odors;
- The method doesn’t require any energetic consumption as the water is naturally pressured into pipes, before passing through the membrane;
- Most water filters that use this method are cost-effective;
- The system is easy to maintain and it only require a regular change of filters;
- Removes most bacteria and viruses.
- The method also removes most minerals and the end result is almost completely demineralized water;
- Small bacteria and microorganisms that have a mass smaller than the one of the water molecule will pass through the membrane;
- You need 2 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of purified water which means that about half of the water quantity will be wasted;
- Many pollutants used in the water processing plants are smaller than the water molecule, thus remaining in the drinking water.